Moderation

This is a guest column by Dr. Alex Smith.

What does it mean to be a moderate?  What do moderates believe and how can they put their values into practice, especially in an age defined by growing economic inequalities, electoral polarisation and political extremism?

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The Electoral Landscape

There have been a few queries by our members about what exactly we are facing in the elections in 2016. How far do we have to go to turn our legislature around? Just how big is the hole we are trying to fill?

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Giving Tuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, when charities ask their supporters to give generously for the causes they support. It is a moment to recognize the value of advocacy, of standing up for what you value, and supporting the organizations that do that work.

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Stand up to Terrorism

In the aftermath of last week’s horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, we have seen Americans rise up in support of the French people. The evil that is ISIS, the evil that is organized terror, is clear. Their attacks on innocents in France, their continued war on the population of Syria, their threats to countries across the world have brought governments and peoples together. We will not stand for these wanton acts of cowardice, no matter who we are.

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Rearranging Deck Chairs

It is said that in a democracy, one gets the government one deserves. This week, the Kansas Legislature's House Leadership contacted some elected Representatives, informing them of changes in committee assignments. This is an unusual move in the middle of the Legislature's traditional two-year cycle. And given that the changes removed qualified individuals who have stood up to Leadership in the past, the moves smell bad.

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How We Win

This week, you may have heard encouraging news out of Colorado. Three extremists on a local school board were ousted by the voters in a recall election that attracted as much as $1 million in funding. For a local school board, not a statewide board. Have no doubt, this was a major victory for teachers and education activists, and a defeat for the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

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What Comes Next?

You've heard us beat this drum before: this next election is the most important election. EVER. This time it might be more true than usual. In 2014, when Kansas re-elected Sam Brownback, we despaired that this meant many more years of policies that have drive the state into the ground. But now, just two years later, we have been presented with a golden opportunity. In the Primaries in August and the General election in November, every seat in the Kansas Legislature will be put to a vote. Common sense Kansans have the opportunity to set right the mistakes of the past, to put our state back on solid footing.

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Disingenuous at best

Earlier this week, Kansas State Representative Scott Schwab (R-Olathe), sent an email to public school teachers and others in his district. You can read it below, but it is in reaction to drastic cuts the Olathe School District has made as a result of school finance cuts.

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The Chambers that Stood Up and Spoke Out

On Sunday, October 25, the MainStream Coalition and Education Foundation will be holding its annual fundraising dinner. The 2016 primary and general elections will be crucial for the future of Kansas, with every seat in the Kansas Legislature on the ballot. We will be working to educate the public about issues in the balance, and advocating for the moderate positions most Kansans support.

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Morally Reprehensible

Mercy Hospital in Independence, KS will be closed by this weekend. It had seventy-five beds, and saw up to 250 emergency cases each year. There are two other hospitals within a half hour drive of Independence. The hospital had been there since 1910.

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